Latin American Art
Boasting more than 2,000 pieces, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s work with Latin American Art goes beyond merely displaying the efforts of fine artists. It has become a research institute, endeavoring to collect, exhibit and educate the public, bringing to life the work of artists from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as those artists of Latin American descent in the United States. Special collections include the Brillembourge Capriles Collection of Latin American Art, the Caribbean Art Fund Collection, the Fundación Gego Collection, among others.
Modern and Contemporary Art
The collection of Modern and Contemporary Art at MFAH is robust. Covering more than 1,400 pieces, from almost every continent, some of the world’s most well-known artists are represented. These included Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Koonig, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and more. Special collections include the Caroline Wiess Law Collection, which includes work by many artists including Pablo Picasso, and the Edward R. Broida Bequest, which includes 200 additional paintings, sculptures and paper works. In addition, the collection also features Texas Highlights, showcasing modern works of artists in the state.
The collection of photography held by MFAH documents the entire history of the medium, with its earliest works dating back to the 19th century. With 30,000 items, this collection is formidable, representing 4,000 photographers from literally ever continent on the globe. Special Collections include the Target Collection of American Photography, the Manfred Heiting Collection, and the Marvins Family Collections, which include many works from the mid-1800s. The Allan Chasanoff Photographic Collection, which features works by Ansel Adams and Jan Groover and others, is another must-see at the Museum.
Prints & Drawings
Pieces in the Prints & Drawings collection celebrate work done on paper, with items dating back as far as the middle ages. These take many forms, from wood engravings, to drawings, to prints. Some represented include rare prints, impressions and engravings from old European masters, such as Rembrandt, Canaletto, and Albrecht Dürer. Other noteworthy pieces include a self-portrait by Edvard Munch, and wood engravings by Winslow Homer.
Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation
Located in the Audrey Jones Beck Building, the works in the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation collection include works from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The collection was made possible through the generosity of Sarah Campbell Blaffer, a native Texan who had a vision to make more art available to her fellow Texans. Items in this collection include 150 works by old European masters, and also some twentieth century works.
Situated in a separate location in the River Oaks Community, Bayou Bend is the home to much of the Museum’s collection of American Decorative Arts. Housed in the former home of local philanthropist, Ima Hogg, the original pieces of the collection were largely acquired by Hogg. Having built the home for the collection, she gave the structure and its contents to the MFAH in 1957. Visitors will be able to peruse 2,500 objects, arranged in the home’s 28 rooms. The house is surrounded by 14 acres of gardens that mix both the home’s Southern heritage and the Beaux Arts design influences of the American Country Place era.
Also located in the River Oak Community, Rienzi houses the Museum’s European Decorative Arts Collection. The house, gifted to the Museum in 1997, was originally built in 1952. With gardens designed by prominent landscape architect Ralph Ellis Gunn, visitors will want to be sure to set aside time to tour the home’s four acres of land. Pieces in the home’s interior date from the early seventeenth to mid nineteenth centuries, and include art, paintings, furniture and porcelain.
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